Fans of Willow know what they are getting as far as story goes with the film. The action sequences and special effects were cutting edge at the time but in some instances look dated to modern eyes, and the tale is very reminiscent of the action narratives we’ve come to know and love. For many, Willow has become a classic film in the Lucasfilm canon and the 25th Anniversary Blu-ray lives up to the potential of the release.
Directed by Ron Howard, Willow tells the tale of a young Nelwyn (Warwick Davis) who takes on the care of a baby, who turns out to be a child of prophecy sent to defeat an evil queen. Willow ends up going on an adventure to save the life of the young child, encountering foes and friends, and a variety of interesting creatures along the way. The 25th Anniversary release is the first time the film has been available on Blu-ray and from the menu page to the actual footage of the film, this release may have finally done the movie some justice. Fans who are expecting Willow’s color and filming to look as perfect as something like Avatar when restored may be disappointed, but as far as the restoration work goes, the picture looks crisp and rarely grainy, which is a feat.
Best Special Feature: Some of the extras on the Willow Blu-ray are repeats of extras available with the 2003 DVD special edition set. However, new to the set are deleted scenes with introductions from Ron Howard, as well as behind-the-scenes shots. These behind-the-scenes segments are excellent both because Howard speaks eloquently about the project and where he and George Lucas wanted to go with the sword and sorcery tale, but also because Howard is rocking one of the greatest mustaches of all time in the eighties footage.
Most of the deleted scenes are pretty short, but the stuff from Ron Howard is excellent and he even addresses a few of the continuity errors fans have called him out for over the years. I could listen to Howard talk all day, but even if that isn’t your cup of tea, there is enough interesting footage and information in these deleted scenes to make them worth watching.
Other Special Features:
“The Making of an Adventure” with Ron Howard
“From Morph to Morphing” with Dennis Muren
“Willow: An Unlikely Hero” personal diary of Warwick Davis